September 27, 2015


Following from my last post about overcoming stress, here is another example of high performance thinking: the All Blacks often make the right decisions under pressure whereas other rugby teams often don’t! What is the difference? It is exposure, at a very early age, to challenging situations and drilling the correct response until it becomes a habit, it becomes an attribute, a part of the individual’s character. Many people think the All Blacks are experts at this, most people don't realise they have spent years developing the ability to do this under pressure.

Unfortunately, changing certain behaviour requires concentrated work, quick fixes don’t work. As I have often said in many of my trainings, you don’t become an All Black or a Roger Federer overnight. It has taken them years of exposure to challenging situations to develop the skills of responding differently than the competition. You are in competition with everyone. The faster you understand this on a primal level, the faster you will develop the ability to handle choking under pressure. Malcom Gladwell wrote in his book Outliers that it takes 10,000 hours to become a master. How much time do you spend practicing the ability to make decisions under pressure?

If you want to change, you have to be brutally honest with yourself otherwise you are living in denial. Let me describe it another way. Your brain is a computer running a particular program, say XP, and now you want to upgrade it to the next version of Windows. You download it onto your “computer” but you find from time to time the program doesn’t work very well, glitches happen. These are like bad habits that are always running in the background. They never go away, they need to be managed.

If you have ever been to an Alcohol Anonymous meeting, the attendees will introduce themselves and tell everyone how long they have been an alcoholic even though they don't drink anymore. Why do they say this? Because they know that the thought, the habit is lurking in the background just waiting to rear itself. Because they are aware, they are prepared and they have strategies in place to cope if this happens. They have practiced their responses; they learn how to make the right decision when it counts.

Are you willing to pay the price to practice, not just once but on a regular basis? If you don’t, then you are like most people in the world. This is why most people don’t change – because it requires too much effort!

Without concentrating on fixing this in a focused process, it is very difficult to overcome this problem. There are no quick fixes, I have never seen quick fixes and I don't offer quick fixes. I can help show you the process to change if you are prepared to do the work. You will learn how to cope with this panic situation and how to minimise impact of this on your business and personal life to reduce the chance of stress and burnout. It is false hope to expect that this will ever go away. What is possible is for a person to understand when it comes up and how to deal with it effectively.

I am running a public workshop in November on how to manage Stress and Burnout. If you would like details, please email us on

September 25, 2015


I often get asked how to get over the choking emotion when the negotiation or deal is on the tipping point. The answer most people expect is something that will not require much work or something that works instantaneously. I'm afraid I will not be able to offer you a quick solution for something as complex as this.

From my experience, no one ever gets over this; they just learn how to manage this emotion better than most. A lot of it also comes down to the environment that you were bought up in; some people are just better at handling this genetically. This is similar to talent that people are born with, such as speed or athleticism or mathematical or music ability. Some things you either have or you don’t. I know this may not be the answer most of you are expecting; however, good news is that it is possible to develop abilities to overcome this.

Some of you may not know but when Roger Federer was younger he often had melt downs on the court, breaking racquets, storming off the court when he was losing. Look at him now! He worked to overcome this behavioural pattern and it took him about 5 years to develop this ability. He was relatively a late developer, winning his first grand slam at age 22. Most of the successful grand slam winners usually win between the ages of 18-20 years. Nadal won the French at 19 years and Pete Sampras won the US open at age 19!

Much of our response to situations is triggered by our habitual way of responding to these situations. These triggers are often ingrained within our unconscious thinking by the environment which we were exposed to or brought up in at a younger age. Of course difficult experiences, eg when you may have lost a deal, have also contributed to this response. Unfortunately, when you face a similar situation you respond in a similar way, because you don’t have the training to change that response. You panic, you don’t think and you respond without thinking.

In the following article I will provide some examples of high performance thinking.

I have had requests from many people wanting to find out if I run programs that help in stressful environments, to help better handle stress and burnout. Normally I run these programs as a specialised session for companies. Because of the demand, I will run my first public course in November, limited to 20 people only. If you are keen to know more about it or to attend, please send me an email at